NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert made it clear that the company had entered the post-Jeff Zucker era with a zinger that the audience at the NBC Upfront Presentation fully understood. They applauded when he said that the company needs “a little less reinvention of the wheel and a lot more Broadcasting 101.” NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt says the specific goals are to become aggressive in developing sitcoms, reinvigorate Thursday night, and hit 10:00 PM “after it was almost abandoned a year ago” when Zucker put Jay Leno in — a strategy partially designed to save money; he added that there’s no mandate to manage for margins or to script. Comcast has said that it will spend an additional $200 million this year on NBC’s prime time shows. (Catching up with Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, they said the network won’t require any more of an influx than that. “It won’t be needed,” Roberts said. Added Burke: “It’s not so much the money, it’s the shows.”)
Greenblatt says that the network is approaching its reinvigotation as “a marathon, not a sprint.” Roberts said the “biggest change is the energy and enthusiasm,” and Burke added that the message they want to send out is “we want to hire the best people.” The company stuck to platitudes during the presentation — execs didn’t start off sharing any ratings goals. Greenblatt says, though, that NBC’s hit show The Voice will “dramatically redefine the first and second quarter for us.” Prior to the presentation, BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield said that “the big question is how much money is Comcast willing to invest to fix this business. Nothing else really matters.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.